Branding and monitoring

Software that allows PR teams to communicate better, how the web is helping radio, and more

Software that allows PR teams to communicate better, how the web is helping radio, and more


We use multiple PR firms for our campaigns and comms. How can we better collaborate with them?

Traditionally, internal and external teams have spent their time contacting media and updating each other through voice-mail, meetings, and e-mails, says Kelly Brighton of Vocus. "With today's constant, 24/7 news cycle, and as more companies grow and expand globally, these methods have proved to be both time-consuming and distinctly impractical for effective PR," she adds.

Successful collaboration with PR firms requires total integration of, and access to, resources to better share information and manage PR efforts. "Entities that leverage shared technology can smooth agency collaboration, as well as improve the use of time and resources," she says.

Online PR software gives outside agencies access to the same information as in-house PR staff. "These solutions enable all PR representatives to stay continuously in touch and updated regarding communications with the media and projects," Brighton says. "By accessing a centralized system, both teams can have current details about projects at all times, a common web-based database of media contacts and lists, shared contact records, and access to the same collateral at any time, from anywhere."

With a shared, integrated PR solution, teams can work together more effectively and efficiently - reducing time-consuming calls and e-mails to exchange updates.


With all the new media growth, what are radio stations doing to keep their audiences?

In response to technologies such as roadcasting, podcasting, and satellite services, radio stations are creating their own internet presence by audio streaming their broadcasts, says Martha Sharan of News Generation.

A recent News Generation survey showed that 27 out of 50 stations stream 90% of their on-air content, 40% stream 100% of their on-air content, she adds.

"This means that when you successfully book airtime with your local radio station, your client's message can potentially be heard by a growing number of listeners around the US tuning in to the broadcast via the station's webcast," says Sharan.

She adds that respondents to the survey noted that the overall goal of their audio streaming is to keep listener drop-off at a minimum. "Only 26% of stations said they use their websites to attract new listeners, while 54% said they use the internet to keep the audience they have and make it easy for them to tune in throughout the day," she says.


What are the key differences between online search engines and services and 'traditional' media monitoring services?

Two big differences: the quantity of news sources being monitored and the editing and selection of the coverage being delivered, says Steve Shannon of BurrellesLuce.

"A national press clipping service monitors about 25,000 news sources - covering virtually all print and broadcast news, as well as all online news, including subscription-based web outlets," he says. "Search engines typically monitor only 20% of that."

An expansive source list is essential, but it's only half the battle. "Anyone who has used a search engine or internet-based service knows how many irrelevant listings are often retrieved," he says. "Employing the 'human touch' of editors to review your coverage and ensure it matches the intent of your search can save you both time and money. Using such a service will give you the best opportunity to retrieve all of your relevant coverage."


How can we make our brand publicity more relevant to our client's target audience?

"Placements in special-interest titles or cable shows serving the product category are not just easier to obtain, but are more relevant to consumers," says Bridal News Network's William Duke.

Newspaper sections such as home, food, and employment all address specific consumer needs. "Relevance also dramatically increases when the brand appears in articles aimed at consumers in specific life-stage transitions," he adds. "Back to school, off to college, moving, getting married, and retirement are all life stages that marketers have an interest in, as consumers are more acquisitive before and after life events."

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